MFA Student, Acting
Journalism and Theater Studies, 2010
MFA student at Ohio State University
In my first two years since graduating Emory, I moved to the Mississippi Delta as a corps member for Teach for America, teaching first and third grades at Rosser Elementary in Moorhead, Miss. While there, I started an after school theater program called STAGE (Student Theater Advancing Growth and Empowerment – say that five times fast) which was basically a weekly class on acting, character development, and script reading/writing.
During my second year of teaching, I started applying to graduate programs and this August, I will start a three-year MFA program in Acting at the Ohio State University. The program is ensemble-based, with an emphasis on the creation of new work.
Highlights at Emory
Everything about theater at Emory was a highlight! Productions that stand out as my favorites include Don Juan Comes Back from the War, English Made Simple (part of The Comedy of David Ives) and Miss Julie x 3. I feel like I really grew so much as an actor during each show and I cherish the relationships I developed with students, faculty and staff. There’s a certain closeness in the theater department that you really don’t find in other academic settings on campus. As far as academics, Tim McDonough’s Speeches and Monologues class was a course that completely changed my perception of what theater was. What had once been more of a self-indulgent diversion had transformed into something I relished studying. For the first time, acting was more than remembering your cues and getting a laugh. Tim broke it down into tiny technical elements, all of which had to meld seamlessly to produce a compelling, convincing performance.
Based on the diversity in course offerings and requirements of the major, I definitely think I left with a very holistic appreciation for theater, which has served me well. Both of the graduate programs I was choosing between were interdisciplinary and I think that’s an interest that started with my well-rounded undergrad education. Additionally, I think Emory professors practice and preach theater etiquette, respect, and professionalism. I am proud to say that after working in that environment, I highly value those tenets and carry them with me wherever I go.